’73 Chang Jiang w/ Sidecar
A what?? A 1973 Chang Jiang World War Two motorcycle with a sidecar, you never seen one? Me either. It looks like a BMW out of WW2. And wasn’t WW2 over in like 1945? Not so in China, ‘The Big One’ (WW2) lives on at Chang Jiang.
I started liking sidecars when a good friend showed up on one day with a big grin on his face. After a little begging and pleading, he taught me to ride, I mean drive, the sidecar outfit. Too much fun. Went to a big Sidecar Rally some years back and when I got home I started looking at what motorcycles I had the would haul a sidecar around, the bad news was…all of them. However, the old checking account said…none of them. Sigh. I still love sidecars and drive one whenever I get the chance. So today when I found this Chang Jiang on ebay the days of wanting a sidecar rig came back in a hurry.
I spent some time this morning looking up all I could find out about Chang Jiang and this motorcycle. The Chang Jiang (we’re going to shorten to CJ from here on out, ok?) 750 was based on the 1957 IMZ M72 Russian made motorcycle which was derived from the 1938 BMW R71. The story of how the Russians got a hold of the BMW is interesting. Too long to put here but interesting nonetheless.
When Russia decided the IMZ M72 was no longer suitable for military use they sold everything to China. Design, tooling, materials everything they would need to build their own M72. China changed the name to the CJ750. China over the years made a few upgrades, they went to an overhead valve motor from the basic sidevalve (flathead),it wasn’t until 1986 that upgraded the electrical system to 12 volts, and some chassis changes, but it still looks like an original CJ750 from 50 years ago.
In doing this research I found there is a huge CJ community out there. Most bikes come from dealers or builders in China. You can get a virtually new CJ750 built the way you want and have it shipped to you, you can go to China and rent one, you can take tours of Tibet on a CJ750…the tour operator says that because these were made for the military, they will handle any road ( or lack of ) you can throw at it. Most owners restore them to military style. There is a whole of fun Chang Jiang stuff on the net, start here http://www.changjiangunlimited.com/
The CJ750 I found on ebay this morning is a military style motorcycle. It needs love. It does run according to the owner and he advises the buyer to be handy. CJ’s are of a very old design and it really doesn’t take much mechanical skill to keep this thing running. It’s dirty, needs some rust removed, maybe some leather work and it’s got less 300 miles on it. The price seems somewhat reasonable, depends on much you want a WW2 sidecar. If you want to know more click on the pics. I wonder how much he wants for the lawnmower in the back ground?
’73 Chang Jiang w/ Sidecar<img style="text-decoration:none;border:0 none;margin:0;padding:0;" src="http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=%2773+Chang+Jiang+w%2F+Sidecar&item=220637893322&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER